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Methodology for Assessing Bodily Expression of Emotion

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to develop methods for assessing bodily expression and to provide a preliminary description of movement characteristics associated with positive and negative emotions during a single movement task—knocking. We used an autobiographical memories paradigm for elicitation, observer rating of emotion intensities for recognition, and Effort-Shape and kinematic analyses for movement description. Actors felt the target emotions in nearly all the trials but observers recognized them in relatively few movement trials, especially for the positive emotions. Differences in movement characteristics were identified for the target emotions with both the qualitative and quantitative movement analyses.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Jodi James for assistance with data collection and analysis, Brady West for statistical analyses, and Dan Koditschek and Geoff Gerstner for discussions at an early phase of the project. The work was supported by a University of Michigan Rackham Interdisciplinary and Collaborative grant.

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Correspondence to M. Melissa Gross.

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Gross, M.M., Crane, E.A. & Fredrickson, B.L. Methodology for Assessing Bodily Expression of Emotion. J Nonverbal Behav 34, 223–248 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-010-0094-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-010-0094-x

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